This glorious view was taken from the viewing platform at the Hyatt Hotel in Fort Lauderdale where we spent one night before beginning our Caribbean cruise to four islands and the Panama Canal.
I'd stayed at this hotel years ago with my father, sister, lovely grandmother and uncle (now both dead) and brother. We'd gone to the revolving restaurant for lunch and then stepping into the lift when we went to leave, my father was horrified to discover (too late) that it was an outside, fully glass lift (including the floor).
When I realized this was where we were staying I told Rob about the restaurant at the top of the hotel and the lift and said I'd like to go up there again and take pictures for my dad. However, there was a large sign saying that the restaurant was closed for a private function and that it was closed.
Well, when I decide I want to do something very little puts me off and a simple 'No' doesn't seem to register that often (a useful personality trait to possess when you have a passion to be published, I suppose). So, we went up to the restaurant and asked the two security guards if we could possibly have a quick look round. By this time we'd been joined by another english couple. The guards soon gave in and Rob left his hand luggage in the restaurant and the four of us raced outside and spent about ten minutes, 'oohing' and 'ahhing', and I felt very nostalgic and delighted with the pictures I'd be able to take home to my dad.
"Right, I suppose we'd better go back in now," said Rob, "We've got to board the ship soon."
It was then that we discovered there wasn't any door handle on the outside of the door to get back in. We all hurried to the window to wave at the guards, who'd both disappeared.
"Phone someone," I suggested.
"No reception," said Rob, gazing across at the Queen Victoria longingly. "We've got to find a way down."
It was then that I noticed an emergency stairway going into the floor. Rob went down and shouted that the door was locked on the following level.
"Don't come down and let that door lock behind me," he shouted. "Wait to see if I can find a door further down that I can use. We don't want to get stuck in this stairwell."
I have to admit that laughing probably wasn't very helpful, but I couldn't help myself. Thankfully he eventually found a landing where the door was unlocked and we were able to get down.
A week later on the cruise, we met another couple and the man embarrassingly admitted that he'd stupidly gone up to the revolving restaurant, gone outside on the viewing deck and... We did tell him that we'd done the same thing. He was english too...
More about the cruise soon.